Let’s get real: 3 rules to creating an authentic brand.

Lori Bahnmueller 07/17/15 - 6:18 pm

Does your brand care about being authentic? Consumers do. In fact, people care deeply about “authenticity.” A recent CEB survey found that 70 percent of consumers over the age of 15 said the statement “being genuine and authentic is extremely important for me and for the things and people in my life” described them.

But what does that mean exactly? What does an authentic brand look like? How does it act?

Turns out, authenticity is most associated with trust, and trust-related values like honesty, responsibility and conscience (CEB). According to professors at Curtain University, consumers measure authenticity in terms of heritage, sincerity and commitment to quality. Transparency is another attribute associated with authenticity, ranking alongside quality and price in the minds of consumers (Cohn & Wolfe).

In short, authenticity is not a theme line or slogan; it’s the story behind the brand and the values it represents. And like all great stories, it provokes, bonds and lingers.

Rebel Nell is a great example of an authentic brand. The young, Detroit-based company makes jewelry from unique local materials, like chipped graffiti. And while the hand-crafted, wearable art is beautiful, it’s simply a means to an end. Rebel Nell’s business case is founded on one single purpose—employing, educating and empowering disadvantaged women.

authentic brand

Rebel Nell’s authenticity contributes to the brand’s success and it provides hope for other companies that want to build an organic brand, too. In this blog series, we will explore CEB’s three quick rules to crafting an authentic brand.

1.    Know your audience

2.    Acknowledge imperfections

3.    Own who you are

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the first rule of authenticity: Know your audience. This includes an exploration of the gender, generational and cultural nuances around how authenticity is defined. Meanwhile, what are some of your favorite authentic brands? Share them with us in the comments below.

Blog Category: Branding

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